Pennsylvania Personal Finance Academic Standards

Personal Finance Standards

We compared our learning materials and the core financial literacy concepts that are covered in our Budget and Stock Games to the personal finance standards for the state of Pennsylvania.

A list of the Pennsylvania Standards published January 2024 are below, along with a selection of activities from our games and library that align with each standard. Our Learning Library contains over 300 total lessons that can be customized for every class, so this may not include every lesson that may apply for each standard.

Course Outlines, Lesson Plans & Student Activities

Students will learn through playing the interactive online games, as well as completing the self-graded lessons that were designed to keep young learners engaged.

When you order PersonalFinanceLab® for your class, you’ll also get access to course outlines, lesson plans, student activities and grading rubrics that tie everything together.

Check out our course outlines, we’ll walk you through every step of the way!

Get to Know PersonalFinanceLab®

We’re here to help engage your students to learn how to manage their money responsibly. Learn more about each of the main features and see how we can help transform your class.

Personal Budgeting Game

A monthly budget game with real-life scenarios and consequences.

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Stock Market Game

Build your students confidence in the financial markets as they learn how to invest their money wisely.

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Embedded Lessons

Self-graded lessons aligned to National and Jump$tart Standards.

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We’re Here to Help!

Discover how the fully customizable platform can be tailored to fit the needs of your class by talking to a member of our team. Our curriculum specialists can guide you on how to integrate our lessons and games into your existing curriculum.

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Pennsylvania Personal Finance Standards Alignment

Find out which of our lessons or games reinforce the individual
knowledge statements for grades 9 to 12 from the Academic Standards for Personal Finance for Pennsylvania.


Long-Term Game
Comprehensive Chapter
Short Lesson
Interactive Calculator
Includes Automatically-Graded Assessment

Standard Activity Long-Term Game Comprehensive Chapter Short Lesson Interactive Calculator Graded Assessment
17.1 Personal Finance Fundamentals
Financial Goal Setting and Decision Making:
Determine the financial impact of various long-term goals (e.g., lifestyle, family, education).
Apply a systematic decision making process, including opportunity costs, to setting and achieving financial goals.
Budget Game – Core Component
Activity – Use the Saving to be a Millionaire Calculator
Lesson – Career Development
Lesson – Work vs Study
Lesson – Family Planning
Lesson – Preparing for Retirement
Planning Long Term Purchases
Financial Mindset and Behaviors:
Analyze the impact of various factors on a person’s financial mindset and decisions.
Evaluate strategies for dealing with behavioral biases and other obstacles to managing personal finances.
Assess the value of sharing financial goals and information with others.
Budget Game – Core Component
Lesson – Career Development
Lesson – Family Planning
Lesson – What is Wealth?
Financial Services:
Compare various financial service providers (e.g., banks, credit unions, check cashers, brokerage firms) and the types of accounts and services each provides.
Communicate the process of opening financial accounts and the factors to consider when selecting financial institutions and professionals.
Evaluate the use of financial technology to access financial services and make financial decisions.
Lesson – Banks, Credit Unions, and Savings and Loans
Lesson – Debit Cards
Lesson – When to Hire a Tax Professional
Financial Record Keeping:
Develop a system for documenting and organizing personal financial records, both paper and electronic.
Explain the financial implications of wills, powers of attorney, and naming beneficiaries for various accounts.
Lesson – Financial Records and Receipts
Lesson – Simple and Living Wills
Lesson – Life Insurance
Consumer Protection:
Explain the role of various state and federal financial regulators and consumer protection agencies.
Describe the issues addressed by various laws and regulations that impact or safeguard a person’s finances.
Lesson – Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
Lesson – Protecting Against Fraud
Lesson – Credit Cards
Lesson – What Makes a Contract Valid?
17.2 Income Activity Long-Term Game Comprehensive Chapter Short Lesson Interactive Calculator Graded Assessment
Source of Income:
Explain various types of income (e.g., earned, unearned, passive, active) and their sources (e.g., work, rentals, investments, government programs).
Describe sources of retirement income and how they relate to individual investment choices, employer-sponsored retirement plans, and government programs.
Lesson – Income and Compensation
Lesson – Unemployment and Other Programs
Lesson – Workplace Benefits
Lesson – Preparing for Retirement
Lesson – Building Wealth
Lesson – Investing Strategies
Factors Influencing Income:
Use data to support an individual’s decision to obtain or forgo post-secondary education based on the associated costs and anticipated future income.
Research options to pay for education and training, ways to reduce the total cost, and steps needed to obtain financial aid.
Evaluate the impacts of technology, labor markets, and economic conditions and trends on a person’s employment potential.
Explain the impact of employee benefits (e.g., health insurance, retirement savings plans, education reimbursement programs) on an individual’s finances.
Lesson – Work vs Study
Lesson – Career Development
Lesson – Income and Compensation
Lesson – Workplace Benefits
Lesson – Starting a Business
Lesson – Student Loans
Self-Employment and Supplemental Income:
Analyze the financial impact of a person’s decision to own a business, work as an independent contractor, or be employed.
Lesson – Career Development
Lesson – Employer and Employee Rights and Responsibilities
Lesson – Starting a Business
Income and Payroll Taxes:
Calculate the impact of taxes and payroll deductions on income.
Complete various federal, state, and local tax forms.
Budget Game – Core Component
Activity – Practice Filing The Form 1040
Lesson – Taxation Overview
Lesson – Payroll taxes
17.3 Spending Activity Long-Term Game Comprehensive Chapter Short Lesson Interactive Calculator Graded Assessment
Spending Decisions:
Develop a process for making informed spending decisions, including factors to consider (e.g., product features, price, durability, environmental or societal impact, reliability of information).
Compare ways people can lower the price they pay for goods and services (e.g., online tools, discount retailers, negotiating, secondhand items).
Budget Game – Core Component
Lesson – Researching Spending
Lesson – Planning Long Term Purchases
Lesson – Spending and Savings Plans
Developing a Budget:
Develop a personal approach to keeping track of income and spending.
Evaluate various budgeting approaches (e.g., 50-30-20, zero-based) and methods (e.g., envelope system, spreadsheets, online tools).
Create a personal budget to allocate current or future income, including estimates for fixed and variable expenses.
Identify methods for adjusting a budget for unexpected expenses or loss of income.
Budget Game – Core Component
Lesson – Budgeting
Lesson – Preparing for Spending Shocks
Payment Methods:
Compare the effects of using various payment methods when making purchases.
Compare various approaches to paying bills, including making automated payments and ensuring bills are paid on time.
Describe the impact of technology on payment methods and how it influences spending.
Budget Game – Core Component
Activity – Use the Buy vs Lease Calculator
Lesson – Automatic Payments
Lesson – What is Money?
Major Life Purchases:
Analyze a housing decision, including comparing renting and buying, upfront and ongoing costs, and the process of obtaining a mortgage or a lease.
Justify the purchase or lease of a vehicle and the alternatives considered (e.g., new versus used, total cost of ownership or use).
Lesson – Mortgages
Lesson – Buying a Car
Activity – Use the Buy vs Lease Calculator
Activity – Use the Home Budgeting Calculator
Sales and Property Taxes:
Analyze the impact of paying sales, excise, and property taxes on financial decisions.
Lesson – Taxation Overview
Lesson – Sales Tax
Charitable Giving:
Justify a decision to participate in or forgo a fundraising effort based on the organization and cause.
Lesson – Charitable Giving
17.4. Saving and Investing Activity Long-Term Game Comprehensive Chapter Short Lesson Interactive Calculator
Asset Building:
Calculate a person’s net worth given their assets and liabilities.
Budget Game – Core Component
Watch Video – Net Worth
Activity – Use the Net Present Value Calculator
Develop a savings plan for accomplishing personal short- and long-term financial goals.
Compare the features of various savings vehicles (e.g., savings accounts, certificates of deposit, money market accounts) and the interest rates offered by several institutions.
Budget Game – Core Component
Investing 101 – Chapter 01. Introduction to Investing
Lesson – Budgeting
Lesson – Pay Yourself First
Lesson – Investing Strategies
Lesson – Importance of Interest Rates
Explain factors that contribute to rates of return for various investments, including risk, inflation, and taxes.
Activity – Use the Investment Return Calculator
Lesson – Risk
Lesson – Inflation
Lesson – Tax Additions
Explain the similarities and differences between stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds, and the factors that influence price fluctuations for each. Stock Game – Core Component
Lesson – What is a Stock?
Lesson – What is an ETF?
Lesson – What is a Mutual Fund?
Lesson – What are Bonds
Lesson – Understanding Price Movements
Describe factors to consider when selecting sources of investment advice and trading methods (e.g., online trading platforms, financial advisors, robo-advisors). Stock Game – Core Component
Watch Video – Investment Research
Activity – Basic Research and Comparing Stocks
Explain how popular benchmark indices are used. Investing 101 – Chapter 03. Making Your First Trade
Investing 101 – Chapter 04. Building Your $100,000 Portfolio
Recommend an investment portfolio diversified to meet specific goals, including purpose, starting age, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. Stock Game – Core Component
Lesson – Building a Diversified Portfolio
Compare retirement-specific investment options, including employer-sponsored plans, Roth and traditional individual retirement accounts, and accounts available to people who are self-employed. Lesson – Preparing for Retirement
Lesson – Building Wealth
Lesson – What are Annuities
Investing Risk Tolerance:
Analyze personal attitudes towards risk and how these might impact future investment decisions and outcomes.
Describe methods to avoid or counteract the potentially negative impacts of behavioral biases on investment decisions.
Stock Game – Core Component
Investing 101 – Chapter 01. Introduction to Investing
Investing 101 – Chapter 05. Now That I Own It, What Should I Do?
Lesson – Building a Diversified Portfolio
Lesson – Investing Strategies
Lesson – Risk
17.5. Risk and Insurance Activity Long-Term Game Comprehensive Chapter Short Lesson Interactive Calculator
Risk Ientification and Management:
Evaluate a person’s potential for financial risk (e.g., loss of personal property, reduction in income, liability).
Critique approaches to avoiding, reducing, retaining, and transferring risk given a particular scenario.
Lesson – Risk
Lesson – Protecting Against Fraud
Lesson – Understanding Price Movements
Lesson – The Business Cycle
Lesson – Inflation
Formulate insurance recommendations based on individual needs, situations, and preferences, including but not limited to automotive, homeowners, renters, health, life, and disability, as justified.
Use information from various sources to compare insurance providers, plans, and prices.
Formulate a process of comparing insurance products, determining out-of-pocket costs, and filing claims.
Describe circumstances in which a person may be required to show proof of insurance or obtain a minimum amount of coverage.
Evaluate the impact of public insurance programs for individuals facing financial hardship (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid, and unemployment).
Lesson – Renter’s Insurance
Lesson – Home Owner’s Insurance
Lesson – Car Insurance
Lesson – Life Insurance
Lesson – Disability Insurance
Lesson – Health Insurance
Financial Fraud and Identity Theft:
Analyze trends in financial fraud and strategies to avoid becoming a victim.
Research the agencies individuals can contact and steps they can take to address financial fraud and scams, including identity theft.
Lesson – Protecting Against Fraud
17.6. Credit Activity Long-Term Game Comprehensive Chapter Short Lesson Interactive Calculator
Credit Use and Benefits:
Evaluate pathways to obtaining credit and what lenders look for in a borrower (e.g., character, capacity, capital, collateral).
Describe how credit reports and scores are determined, used, and improved.
Lesson – Using Credit
Lesson – Credit Cards
Lesson – Short-Term Financing
Lesson – Credit Reports
Types of Credit:
Compare various forms of credit and how each is used (e.g., secured and unsecured loans, installment and revolving credit, service credit).
Analyze the use of loans to finance higher education and home purchases, how they are obtained, and options for paying them back.
Lesson – Good Debt, Bad Debt
Lesson – Short-Term Financing
Lesson – Mortgages
Lesson – Student Loans
Costs of Credit:
Calculate the total cost of credit given a variety of situations (e.g., making minimum payments, paying fees, using alternative financial service providers).
Describe the consequences of failing to repay debts and sources of debt management assistance.
Budget Game – Core Component
Activity – Use the Credit Card Payments Calculator
Lesson – Managing Debt
Lesson – Debt Management Services
Credit Rights and Responsibilities:
Evaluate various rights and laws related to credit and their impact on consumers.
Lesson – Credit Cards
Lesson – Credit Reports
Lesson – Bankruptcy
Lesson – Student Loans

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